The Astrology Center of America, 207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272
Tarot Home Tarot Decks Tarot Books Astrology Home E-Mail: Dave


The Leonardo da Vinci Tarot

by Iassen Ghiuselev & Atanas Atanassov

The Leonardo da Vinci Tarot
Price: $19.95

Number of cards in deck: 78

Measurements: 2.6 x 4.72 inches, or 66 x 120 mm.

Back of card: Sepia tones, based on the Queen of Wands (shown above). Contrasts well-enough with the front of the cards. May be inverted.

Booklet included: Yes, 64 pages, 2.6 x 4.67 inches, or 65 x 119 mm. Instructions in English, Italian, Spanish, French & German.

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo. Printed in Italy, imported by Llewellyn Worldwide.

Comments: A tarot deck based on the surviving works of Leonardo (1452 - 1519). Notice behind all the illustrations, the famous square & circle. Mostly, the deck is fine, though Mona Lisa with a papal miter is a bit strange.

Notes to this deck point out that from 1482 - 1499, Leonardo was employed at the court of Ludovico Sforza, of Milan. This was the court that, so far as anyone can tell, had invented the modern tarot deck some 40 years earlier. Giordano Berti, who wrote the notes, wants to believe that Leonardo was definitely familiar with the Tarot and perhaps even had the chance to learn its complex rules even though he never designed a deck.... This seems a bit unlikely to me, given there was probably only one viable deck at any given moment (hand-painted decks are expensive), it was in the possession of royals, it was not frequently used, Leonardo (whatever his other accomplishments) was a commoner, one who, unlike his near contemporary, Benvenuto Cellini (1500 - 1571), seems to have shown no interest in the occult. With a 17 year stay in Milan, I think it likely he knew of the deck, but I doubt it went much further than that. As far as Leonardo designing a deck, he would have been, in effect, copying some other artist's work - an artist who might well have been known to him (if not, alas, to us). Leonardo's talent was too great for mere copying, and at any rate miniaturists, then as now, were considered second rate artists. Which is a pity. Miniature portraits are a most demanding craft in their own right. Miniaturization reached a pinnacle of development in the early 19th century, about 20 minutes before photography overwhelmed it.

This is otherwise a fine deck, in the traditional tarot format.

The Astrology Center of America

207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272

Tarot Home Tarot Decks Tarot Books Astrology Home E-Mail: Dave

Established 1993, The Astrology Center of America is owned & operated by David Roell. Except where noted, this entire site (AstroAmerica.com) & its contents are Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 by William R. Roell. All rights reserved. Tarot card images are Copyright © by the copyright holder (generally the publisher).